NEW YORK — Melbourne IT, an Australian firm that allows website owners to buy addresses such as latimes.com, said the downtime suffered by the New York Times website Tuesday began when hackers gained access to the user name and password of one of the company’s sales partners.
Using those reseller’s credentials, hackers changed the records that tell computers around the world from where to download web pages when someone types NYTimes.com into an Internet browser.
“We are currently reviewing our logs to see if we can obtain information on the identity of the party that has used the reseller credentials, and we will share this information with the reseller and any relevant law enforcement bodies,” Melbourne IT spokesman Tony Smith said in an email. He said the company was reviewing how to improve security.
Smith recommended that “for mission critical names,” domain name owners use additional security features available from domain name registries that cost money but limit changes that can be made without extra authorization.
“Some of the domain names targeted on the reseller account had these lock features active and were thus not affected,” Smith said.
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